24 April 2012 | csteidler
A good early role for John Wayne
John Wayne is Bob Randall, the best boatswain in the Coast Guard. His ship is heading home and he's looking forward to two things: he expects to be promoted to skipper of his ship, and he knows he'll see his girl Connie. Alas, things don't work out—at least not right away.
First, the commander back in port passes over Bob and appoints his own son to command the ship. The Duke is disappointed but grits his teeth—he is too much the professional to let it affect his work. But second, Connie is kidnapped by a gang of seal smugglers and taken out to sea and who knows where. Can this be allowed to stand?
Sea Spoilers does not exactly stretch the intellect, but it's fun, nevertheless.
Nan Grey is spirited as Connie, the girlfriend. Her part is not large but she has a few good scenes—she directs some fiery speeches at the head bad guy (Russell Hicks), and she displays smarts when a swift escape becomes vitally necessary.
Hicks is a particularly nasty baddie; suave in appearance and manner, he exults in the early success of his evil plans and freely insults his captives and enemies.
Some minor subplots distract briefly, such as the young commander's fear of rough water, and the seal brought on board by the Duke's assistant and pal (Fuzzy Knight, as combination right hand man and comic relief). But it's really John Wayne's show: he plays a handsome, dutiful and daring young officer who's tall and strong and not a big talker. What's not to like?